AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Sen. Angus King says important legislation, including a continuing resolution to prevent a federal government shutdown Oct. 1, and the National Defense Authorization Act, are being held up by issues often unrelated to those bills.

The independent senator cites the effort by some lawmakers from western states to attach a rider that would limit efforts to preserve the greater sage grouse.

“A perfect example is the National Defense Authorization Act, which, my understanding is, is now being held up by the sage grouse,” King says.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine has joined with 35 other states in suing Indivior, the maker of Suboxone, a drug widely used to treat opiate addiction. The suit alleges that the company conspired to keep prices artificially high.

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills says the state has been hurt by the higher prices for the drug. “We’ve got a higher demand for treatment than ever before in the history of the state of Maine. And people are crying out for Vivitrol, Suboxone, methadone, whatever works for the individual patient.”

PORTLAND, Maine - Bath Iron Works has announced that it plans to lay off 30 workers immediately and eliminate another 130 positions over time.

But Rich Nolan, president of the Machinists' Union local S6, says those layoffs won't affect union members."As I understand, salaried personnel," he says. "It will not affect any members of local s6."

By Marina Villeneuve, The Associated Press
AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine has missed a chance to completely avoid up to $12 million in federal penalties for failing to meet welfare-to-work standards in the past.

Such penalties would mean lost federal dollars next year for Maine's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which has $155.5 million in unspent federal funds. Maine must make up the gap with state funds, but could use creative accounting to avoid dipping into the general fund.

State wildlife officials say the deaths of three dozen juvenile herring gulls in Portland’s Deering Oaks Park over the past 3 weeks is not a cause for alarm.

Judy Camuso with the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says die-offs like this are relatively common in wild birds, but most of the time occur in places away from the public. She says this type of mortality is typically seen in birds that nest in colonies, such as herring gulls.

Camuso says whatever is affecting the birds travels through the group.

Xerces Society / Via The Associated Press

Federal wildlife officials have made a formal recommendation that a bumble bee that was once quite common throughout eastern North America, including Maine, be listed as an endangered species.

Mark McCullough with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the range of the rusty patched bumble bee has decreased by 90 percent in the past decade. He says threats to the bee and other pollinators include loss of habitat, diseases and parasites.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's highway system ranks as the fifth best in the nation, up from 18th five years ago.

That's according the Reason Foundation, which ranks states' systems annually. Maine native David Hartgen, a retired engineering professor at the University of North Carolina, authored the study.

"They moved up for several reasons," he says. "First of all, they have made progress with regard to several items; one is the percentage of deficient bridges. They are still above the national average, but it has come down quite a bit.”

The National Institute on Aging is awarding $25 million to the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor and Indiana University to support a new effort to combat Alzheimer’s disease.

Jackson Laboratory Associate Professor Gareth Howell says the Alzheimer’s Disease Precision Models Center will aim to create new mouse models for testing of drugs to fight the disease. He says the funds will let them efficiently test, in mice, many potential genetic variants that have been identified in humans.

Mal Leary / Maine Public

PORTLAND, Maine - Several hundred friends, family members and politicians filled the Maine Irish Heritage Center in Portland Wednesday night for the dedication of former Maine Gov. Joseph Brennan’s archives.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The U.S. House has passed legislation sponsored by Maine 2nd District Rep. Bruce Poliquin requiring the U.S. Treasury to publish information on Iranian leaders' wealth and how they are using that wealth to promote terrorism.

By Michael Casey, The Associated Press
CONCORD, N.H. - Private wells across the Northeastern United States are drying up in the face of a punishing drought that has lasted for much of the summer.

Scores of homeowners from Vermont to Connecticut with shallow wells have in the past month found themselves depending upon relatives and neighbors for bottled water to bathe, cook, and drink. Those with much deeper, underground wells have largely been spared.

Patty Wight / MPBN

For some, the debate over whether to legalize recreational marijuana in Maine hangs on concerns related to criminal justice or economics. But for others, the central issue is public health.

Coast Guard News / Flickr/Creative Commons

States that have legalized marijuana are contending with a new criminal tactic — smugglers who grow and process it for export to states where it’s illegal and worth a lot more.

Robert F. Bukaty / The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine - The United States and Canada have brokered a deal to share what's left of the dwindling North American cod fishing business in the Atlantic next year.

Both countries fish for cod, an important food fish that has declined in population following overfishing and warming ocean temperatures. The two fisheries overlap in the eastern reaches of Georges Bank, an important fishing area located off of New England.

BANGOR, Maine - The city of Bangor has rejected claims lodged by the operators of a methadone clinic who say drug-dependent Mainers were deprived of their rights when the City Council denied the agency's expansion request.

The Penobscot County Metro Treatment Center claims the City Council vote ignored the rights of drug addicts who are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The agency also charges that the council's denial in August of a request to expand from 300 to 500 patients treated the methadone clinic differently from other health care facilities.